welcome to the narrative

anonymous asked:

From Rolling Stone review: "But Styles has proven time and time again that to be a successful solo artist, you don't necessarily have to let go or even erase your past." and also "You are the best friends any person could ever ask for," he offered sincerely... Blurring the lines of fans and friends is not typical rock star behavior, but... Harry Styles isn't shaping up to be your typical rock star." Welcome to the new HS narrative, courting back 1D fans! They caught up "that band" matters ;-)

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CNN cuts interview feed after refugee crime statistics are mentioned. They’re not even trying to hide their bias anymore.  

somebodylost-chan  asked:

I'd like to ask, how do you know when fight/smut scenes are necessary? Or how to make them effective & not simply as fanservice or just for word count? Usually, I find myself skimming through fight scenes as a reader, bored. As a writer, I'm inclined to just 'fade to black' and imply stuff at the next chapters. I'm not really a fight/smut-scene writer, even though my characters know & need to fight. Thanks for keeping this blog. :D

A good fight scene (and a good smut scene for that matter) always works in the service of the narrative. It works toward the cohesive big picture.

From an entertainment standpoint, violence is boring.

You need your audience invested in the characters participating in the violence, in the actions and events leading up to the fight, in the aftermath and how this will effect the character’s overall goals.

In a narrative context, if you’re bored during a fight scene or a sex scene it’s because the build up to that moment failed. The scene itself may also have failed. However, your foundation is what makes your story sing.

Think of a story like building blocks. You’re playing Jenga with your reader on a homemade house, they’re slowly pulling out the pieces and you’re betting you built your blocks well enough to withstand scrutiny. You’ve got to keep them interested long enough to get to the end before the whole thing comes tumbling down.

A fight sequence which works in concert with it’s narrative is enjoyable, doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, and ultimately works to build up the story it’s telling. Fighting isn’t fighting, you see. Combat is a form of problem solving, the fight itself is an expression of the character’s individuality. Everything we’ve been learning about them, their goals, and their behaviors are being put in a pressure cooker and dialed up.

You should be learning about the character as the fight progresses, the fight working on multiple levels in concert with its narrative to get the story where it needs to go. Often, a first fight is like an establishing shot in film. You get a feel for who this character is when under pressure, who they are. Peril can be a great way to get the audience invested, but its up to the author to prove why they should.

Poor fight sequences don’t tell you anything. They’re there to establish the character as capable of fighting but don’t even do that because their concept of combat is generic.

The combatants aren’t individuals expressing themselves, the fight isn’t proving anything except fighting, it doesn’t have meaning except for its attempts to prove the narrative’s poor concept of badassery. This often happens with no regard for the setting’s rules, the aftermath consequences, what the character’s actions will effect in the long run.

It doesn’t mean anything and, while violence is shocking and terrifying in real life, in fiction violence has to mean more than just an exchange of blows.

How many times have you read a book where several mooks show up to get their ass kicked by the protagonist? They limp off at the end and while they’re often in a perfect position to be seen again due to their connections, we never do.

In even just a moderately competent narrative, those same mooks are characters. We’ll see them again in bit roles. They’ll play a role, either to help or hurt later as an aftermath consequence of the protagonist’s earlier actions. These are callback characters we can use to remind the audience of what happened previously in the narrative, and offer up some catharsis.

In a really well written scene, these mooks serve an important purpose when it comes to establishing the protagonist’s character in a quick snapshot. Like the moderately competent character, they come back later to the aid or the detriment of the protagonist. The mooks’ response actions are a direct result of their encounter with the character, often acting as an inciting incident. The protagonist suffers direct consequences as a result of their actions, whether its injury, loss, or the attention of the villain which causes them to lose something. In these fight scenes, you can see the story’s trajectory because it acts as another way to get to know the hero, the secondary characters, the tertiary characters, and whoever else is participating. It’s working on five different levels.

What you often see in a good fight sequence, whether it’s in a written medium or film, is the culmination of a great deal of hard work on the part of the author. A smut sequence is a reward, it’s a way to pay off on the reader’s investment in the relationship between these two characters and the narrative’s investment in them. It doesn’t matter if that’s hardcore sex, or a Victorian hand touch, or a knockout blow to the jaw, the end result is the same. It’s entertaining, satisfying, and even cathartic.

A poor sex scene is just dolls bumping bits. A poor fight scene is just dolls trading blows. Nothing occurs, nothing happens, there’s none of the underlying satisfaction or catharsis in the outcome. You don’t have any investment, no consequences, it overstays its welcome and tells you nothing about the characters.

You’ve no reason to care, so you don’t.

As a reader, you don’t owe a writer attention when reading their work. They’ve got to earn it. If they aren’t, then it may be that the story isn’t for you and that’s okay. Take into account your tastes,

It takes practice to choreograph a fun fight scene. Writing sex and violence is mostly about learning to find your limits (i.e. what you’re comfortable with writing), and overcoming embarrassment. Determine the difference between need and want.

Are you avoiding writing these scenes because you’re scared of being bad at them or because they just don’t interest you?

These are two very different issues, and it’s easy to hide from the first behind the second. Be honest with yourself. If it is fear, then don’t give into it. The easy solution if you’re afraid of being bad at something is to practice. Start looking critically at the media you consume, when you start to get bored during a fight scene or a sex scene, when you want to skip ahead, ask yourself, “why?”. Check out the sequences and stories where this doesn’t happen, and try to figure out the differences between the two.

When it comes to the mechanics of both violence and sex, the more you learn the better off you’ll be at writing it. The more you practice writing violence/sex/romance then the better you’ll be. Like with everything, it’ll probably be pretty terrible in the beginning but the more you practice, the better you get. Writing itself is a skill, but its also a lot of sub-skills built in underneath the surface. Being good at dialogue doesn’t mean you’ll be good at action, having a knack for great characterization doesn’t mean you’ll be good at writing setting description. Putting together great characters doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be good at worldbuilding.

Don’t be too hard on yourself.

All it takes to figure out whether or not the time to fight is right is by listening to your gut.

Remember, the best scenes are based in narrative cohesion and emotional investment. They’re a pay off in and of themselves for your audience, dessert after dinner. They aren’t the meat and potatoes. If you set out to just write a fight scene or write a smut scene then it’ll get gratuitous. Then the focus is on the fight or the sex itself, hangs entirely on their shoulders, and you’ve just upped the ante for how entertaining you need to be.

It’s not “how do I write a fight scene”, it’s “how did my characters get to this point and why are they fighting”. If you start from a character place, it gets easier. The same is true with romance. “How do my characters participate in a romance (sex or not)”.

Make it about the individuals, that’s when it really gets fun.

And, if you get too stuck, try writing fight scenes with characters who don’t know much about how to fight. Sometimes, it’s easier to get into it when you begin at the beginning. There’s a lot less pressure convincing an audience with a character who knows nothing than one at the top of their field.

There’s a lot less stress about “is this right?” when you’re trying to get a feel for the flow if you’re dealing with a character who doesn’t know jack shit. Fight scenes with characters who know nothing can also be really, really, really fun. They’re wild, improvisational frenzies where all you have is the character sorting through their alternative, non-fighting skills trying to figure out how to survive.

Believe it or not, this will help you because you don’t get to cheat with the idea that your character already knows what they’re doing when you don’t. It’ll help you tap into the character, seeing scenarios from their perspectives, and writing to that instead of “generic fight scene”. When you’re unsure, characters who know nothing about the subject matter they’re engaging in but still have to engage are great. They teach you how to write from the standpoint and perspective of the individual. You need those skills just as much when writing characters who are professionals or at the top of their field.

If you don’t think you can write an interesting fight sequence with a neophyte, then that might be a part of the problem. A character doesn’t need to be good at something to be entertaining. A smut sequence where everyone’s fumbling, knocking into each other, embarrassed, stuck in their clothing, cheesy, corny, and laughing can be just as fun (if not more so and more honest) than the ones that generally get envisioned.

For me, good is entertaining and the entertainment is based in humanity but you need to define “good” for yourself in your own writing. Be honest with yourself about your fears and you’ll find a way to bridge yourself to the kind of writing you want to be doing.

Freeing yourself of your own internalized preconceived notions will help a lot, and produce stories that are way more fun.

-Michi

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Mayor Cardinal, from her home, issued a statement about the disintegration of our town and bleeding together of realities. The statement reads: “My father, who died of liver cancer when I was five, has returned. He arrived from a hole in our reality. I am choosing to go with him, Night Vale. I am choosing the world where he did not die, where I did not kill my double, where dragons did not destroy our town. Listen to the ripping of the firmament and find a world you prefer, Night Vale. All else is pain.”

Listeners. I beg you not to do this. This is the world we built, right here. If you leave, if you don’t accept it – it cannot hold together.

Hold tight those you love, Night Vale. Not for fear of their loss, but for love of their presence. Hold onto what you know is real. Life is only a narrative, but it’s a narrative we write together.

Reminder that even if you aren’t a survivor of any kind, even if you aren’t LGBT+, even if you do not relate to anything the characters have gone/are going through but you just genuinely like Killing Stalking for its narrative, plot and characters, you are 100% welcome and free to enjoy it without feeling bad or having to justify yourself for it.

Ever since watching the final episode, I’ve been thinking about how Season 2 would run. Being a fan of figure skating for a while, I was assuming that our sinnamon roll Yuuri and co. would be competing in different competitions other than the Grand Prix such as World Championships, etc.

NOW THAT GOT ME THINKING EVEN MOOOORREE

So in the last episode, Seung- gil says FOUR CONTINENTS would be fun.

For those who don’t know, Four Continents is an international, prestigious figure skating comp kind of like the Grand Prix WITH A TWIST.

Four Continents only allows certain nations and countries to participate. Asian countries such as Japan or other places such as Canada and America can participate. But EUROPEAN COUNTRIES CAN’T.

This means that countries like RUSSIA can’t compete. 

Therefore….

Victor and Yurio can’t compete. 

So what does this mean for Season 2? Will Kubo Sensei just use comps where everyone can compete eg. Worlds, Grand Prix.. or will she do this!

While everyone is at Four Continents (4CC), Victor and Yurio would be competing against each other at the EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS or RUSSIAN NATIONALS.

Will it be a battle between our beloved Russians? Old vs New? How would Yuuri handle his (future) husbando away from him? How would Victor handle not only coaching Yuuri but creating a comeback LONG DISTANCE?

What do you guys think? Could this be possible?


Responses are welcome!

5

A 12-hour project I did, with stuff I learned from living with an extrovert.

Disclaimers: There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with being introverted or extroverted, but it can cause communication problems. This is a guide written to help communication, not to 'fix’ anyone. Seeing as I’m an introvert, I wrote about my life experiences. A similar narrative from an extrovert would be welcome!

(Not) Killing Your Darlings: Parallels Between ACD Canon and S4

I’ve slowly been working my way through a reread of the canon stories, and although I am used to finding phrases and plotlines among the stories that have been adapted within Sherlock, what surprised me towards the end of the canon is that the writers of Sherlock appear to be adapting the way the stories are written, as well. We’ve talked a lot about the idea that Mofftiss have Reichenbached the show in Series 4, but I’m beginning to think they have Case-booked it (and His Last Bowed it, a little, too). This will probably sound grim at first, but I remain an optimist when it comes to Sherlock, so bear with me. These are Princess Bride “pit of despair” times; I figure if we have to be here, we may as well look around.

As a quick reminder, Doyle published the short stories as:

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892)
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894)
The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905)
His Last Bow (1917)
The Case-book of Sherlock Holmes (1927)

I’m going to start at the end of His Last Bow and the later stories, because they best parallel Series 4, then look back very briefly.

Breaking the fourth wall

His Last Bow breaks the pattern of the Sherlock Holmes story collections in a few ways. It begins with a brief preface written by John H. Watson; he addresses the reader directly to explain that he and Holmes are still living, though ageing:

”The friends of Mr Sherlock Holmes will be glad to learn that he is still alive and well, though somewhat crippled by occasional attacks of rheumatism… Several previous experiences which have lain long in my portfolio, have been added to ‘His Last Bow’ so as to complete the volume.” (His Last Bow, preface)

… lots more under the cut.

Keep reading

We have all seen this film. The Noble Gentile in Nazi Germany is so terribly, terribly moved by the plight of the Jews- perhaps he rescues one, a girl. Perhaps they fall in love. (The girl cannot rescue herself- all Jews were unconcerned by the Shoah, or perhaps unable to help themselves without the aid of the Noble Gentile. The film isn’t about her, anyway. It’s about the Holocaust, but it isn’t about Jews. Not really.)

Perhaps, at some point in the film, the Noble Gentile will make a thoughtful remark on the ‘real’ Holocaust- this may be a sweeping statement on technology, or environmentalism, or anything but Jews and Roma. The girl will nod thoughtfully at this wise statement, perhaps readying herself for decades of being rhetoric, a metaphor.

It is Not Allowed for the film to end with the girl making aliyah- although the unnamed girl is fleeing a genocide, this may polarise the audience, and we don’t want to lose sales. If she moves to America, she will be welcomed with open arms. We can lie to ourselves for the sake of narrative. It’s okay.

The girl has no agency. The girl has no narrative. The girl is a prop for the Noble Gentile’s pain- the goyim suffered, don’t you know! The girl barely exists.

punkrocknerdfighter  asked:

you think barristan will die in meereen? warsandpoliticsoficeandfire laid out a pretty compelling theory of barristan switching to aegon's side

Thanks for the question, @punkrocknerdfighter.

I cannot speak to that author’s supposed argument. But I can discuss why I think it more likely that Barristan will die in Meereen, before Daenerys returns, than that he will betray her for Young Aegon.

Barristan’s POV arc in ADWD was undoubtedly short, but I believe it proved more than satisfactory in crystallizing the thematic elements of his story in a meaningful way while also setting up his downfall. In my opinion, Barristan’s story has largely concerned the question “What does it mean to serve a king?”, and that question comes to a head for him after Daenerys leaves, when he finds himself serving King Hizdahr. As the court changes under Hizdahr - Daenerys loyalists being dismissed or reduced in importance, replaced by Hizdahr’s men - Barristan grows more uncomfortable, and more willing to listen to Skahaz’s conspiracy to depose him. When Hizdahr refuses to retaliate against the unjust murder of the hostage Groleo - something Barristan thinks even weak Jaehaerys II would have done - Barristan’s move against Hizdahr is assured. The “Kingbreaker” thus becomes the climax, not just for Barristan in ADWD but Barristan as a Kingsguard: he finally does what he never had the courage to do with Aerys or Robert - depose an unworthy king in favor of a rightful queen, or at least ruling in a rightful queen’s name, breaking the blind oath of loyalty expected of a Kingsguard in the cause of justice.

However, Barristan made a critical error in ADWD, one that I think will prove his undoing: trusting the Shavepate. Barristan is not a fool, but he entered into agreement with an unscrupulously ambitious and very deceptive man. It’s the Shavepate who almost certainly poisoned the locusts at Daznak’s Pit, the Shavepate who spent ADWD angling against Hizdahr and his set, and the Shavepate who is now in control of the city proper (with Queen’s Hand Barristan bringing war outside). I have no doubt that the Shavepate is going to take advantage of Barristan’s absence in battle to further his political goals - goals Barristan will find horrifying.

So I do believe TWOW will serve as a great triumph and then an immediate, tragic denouement for the white knight. The released preview chapter “Barristan I” ends with a strong pre-battle speech, one clearly fed from his decades of martial experience - a speech that, for my money, has “heroic last words” written all over it. Hell, I’ll admit that the ending to “Barristan II” of TWOW (never released formally in text, but read aloud) even makes me shiver a little, I like it so; the whole chapter is a stage to show off Barristan’s prowess as a wartime commander, but especially the glee in his voice when he compares the landing of Victarion’s fleet to the hammer and the anvil of the Redgrass Field … well, it’s one of the more stirring moments in ASOIAF for me, even though it’s not even released yet.

How tragic then, for Barristan to return to his adopted city a hero, the savior of Meereen, the loyal and true knight - only to find that, in his absence, the Shavepate has had Hizdahr, Reznak, and the child hostages killed. The Shavepate’s hatred of Hizdahr was an open fact throughout ADWD, and time and again he has called for the the child hostages Daenerys took to be murdered, first in retaliation for the Sons of the Harpy murders and then the murders of the Meereenese hostages with the Yunkai'i (though Daenerys and Barristan refused to countenance the murder of children of whom both had become fond). Barristan will come back to the city to discover the Shavepate has effectively seized control of the Meereenese government in his absence, eliminating his political enemies and their children for good measure - and now that Barristan has helpfully deposed Hizdahr and won the battle for him, Skahaz has no further need to keep the old man around. So I imagine the end of Barristan will come as Barristan goes after Skahaz (perhaps after Skahaz orders him killed), and is cut down by the Shavepate’s loyal Brazen Beasts; tired from the battle, the old knight will be swarmed upon the masked men he already deeply distrusts. Barristan’s ending as such would be completely fitting with something I’ve been trying to emphasize as a recurring theme in ASOIAF: the fall of a protagonist can be tragic while still rooted in that protagonist’s own missteps and failures.

I also prefer this ending for Barristan for the impact it will have on Daenerys. I’ve said before that I could see Daenerys spending two chapters with the Dothraki - one killing Khal Jhaqo, and one being acclaimed in Vaes Dothrak - before returning to Meereen in or around “Daenerys III”. Daenerys will find on her return that her white knight is gone - the only other Westerosi in her crew (without Jorah), the connection between her and her family past, a man she thought she could trust. Wouldn’t you know it, though, a whole new crop of advisors will be there to help - Tyrion, Moqorro, and Marwyn, among their associates. Moreover, unlike Barristan, these men are not going to try to reign in her more violent side: Tyrion sees Daenerys as his means of getting back to Westeros and destroying his hated family; Moqorro and the red priests think Daenerys is the chosen of R'hllor, who feasts on human sacrifice; Marwyn clearly blames the “grey sheep” of the Citadel for killing the dragons before, so he’s about the last person who would try to keep her dragons locked away (on top of his interest in Daenerys as the martial “prince that was promised”). The loss of Barristan will help transition Daenerys into a full “fire and blood” mode I think she needs, thematically speaking, before she can become the humanity-saving hero at the end of ASOIAF.

Thinking on a meta level about this supposed turning cloak for Aegon, it would hardly be narratively surprising at this point for Daenerys to face another betraying counselor. The saga of Jorah’s betrayal and questionable loyalty has been a recurring theme even with Jorah out of her immediate circle, and the defection of Brown Ben Plumm to Yunkai was a major plot point in ADWD. Would it be interesting from a plot perspective to have her betrayed again by another trusted advisor? Certainly, it is possible that GRRM would repeat the same tactic, but there are surely other, more intriguing means Daenerys could face her prophesied “treasons” than by another counselor defecting from her service.

Consider also the structural integrity of TWOW and beyond. If GRRM chooses to bring back all alive POV characters for TWOW - and I cannot see a reason he would not, with the series escalating to its final climax - that means 20 separate main POV characters (compare to the 16 of ADWD, the book with the most separate POV characters so far). Unless each character gets a paltry number of chapters, I think it likely that GRRM will start winnowing down the POVs, killing them off to focus on the truly important viewpoints. Neither Daenerys nor Aegon has a need for Barristan to remain with them: Daenerys has her own POV as well as Tyrion’s in her area, while Aegon currently has JonCon and will soon have Arianne as well (and I’ll eat my hat if the Dornish princess doesn’t endeavor to make herself Aegon’s queen). Three POVs is a substantial amount to look at any character, particularly one who has “doomed” practically stamped on his forehead.

Finally, I very much doubt that the fight between Aegon and Daenerys lasts for a long time; indeed, I can see Daenerys having enough to do in TWOW that she doesn’t even reach Westeros until the very end of that book, and we instead end in King’s Landing with King Aegon VI on the Iron Throne. Would it really be sensible to keep Barristan around so long for a “civil war” that will last, in a generous calculation, for a handful of chapters? What would be the ultimate point to Barristan’s story then - that Daenerys is triumphant, and Barristan should never have left her? Would that be narratively fulfilling? You’re welcome to think so; but I do not.

The Queen Regent (NFriel)

I’m completely in love with CPD 4x13 “I remember her now”

Real life hit me hard when I least expected it… Can you imagine I had to wait another few days to watch the new CPD episode? After three weeks of waiting? Can you feel my pain?

Anyway, I thought I would still share my humble opinion. I would say that it was by far the best episode this season. I’m not even biased here, really. Brilliant writing that caught on every character and every storyline to a T. Brilliant directing with great attention to detail. Brilliant Jesse. No further comment needed. Danika Yarosh was amazing, too.

First of all, it was a welcome change of the narrative style for me. I’m kind of tired of the pattern where they go after a couple of false suspects in order to get the real one at the end. It also felt like they got for once a chance to live up to their reputation. After all, they are Intelligence, not Homicide.

Jesse’s acting was above and beyond all expectations. I was going to make a gif set representing the range of his emotions throughout the episode but then I realized I couldn’t do that because I can’t choose just one emotion for a gif. Like in interrogation room, when Tonya lays the blame on Ellie, you can see hurt, denial, anger, disbelief, disgust, and so much more. It’s all in his eyes. When he later interrogates Ellie, his gaze is so intense, he doesn’t even blink I believe, like he’s trying to see right through her, trying to read her thoughts. There is anguish in his eyes and a silent plea to say something to prove her words to him. When he first got in the room, it looked like he was going to reach out for Ellie, like he still believed her, no matter what Tonya had said. A tiny detail, but so meaningful. Amazing directing. And that smile when Ellie asked Jay about Erin? How would you describe it? There is definitely love here, and pride, and ease, and peace, and freedom from the weight life puts on him. Thinking of Erin is like coming home for him. It’s his safe haven. Please, somebody, shut me up or I’m going to write this stuff for the rest of my life.

About directing once again. Did you notice that Jay’s shirt was unbuttoned whenever he was with his team in the bullpen or in the interrogation room, but it was fastened every single time we saw him at Brady? He is so uncomfortable with this undercover assignment that he’s subconsciously trying to put an extra layer between him and whatever is going on inside of Brady.

And all this crap about success and positivity over the radio to highlight the dissonance with the actual state of things?

P.S. I made the mistake of going on Twitter. I usually don’t do that and definitely won’t do that again. Are we all watching the same show? Sometimes it doesn’t feel like that. Jealous Erin, marking her territory? Where did you find it, folks? She was nothing but kind and compassionate to Ellie. Details aside, Ellie is just a kid with a ruined childhood who has no one to take care of her. It rings a bell for Erin, don’t you think? Young troubled girls. In the very first scene with Erin we see her emotions written all over her face. It’s a hard case, the one that hits close to home. She was always emotionally invested into this kind of cases, from the season one. And she was concerned about Jay, she was supportive, she let him know she was there for him. And if you think Ellie was hitting on Jay, you’re missing the whole point of this story. Victim blaming isn’t good. Why do people even tend to lessen the value of such important and sensitive topics?

Sorry in advance for any mistakes. I’ve just watched the episode and I’m still emotional.

Five Minutes [Grace/Frankie] - Final Chapter and Epilogue

Last full chapter and epilogue up now on A03. I have loved every minute of writing this story. Thank you so much for reading, for taking the time to comment, for all your love and support. Enjoy! Here’s an excerpt:

Originally posted by gilmoresgirls

One year later.

Grace could only shake her head at how perfectly camouflaged Frankie was with the decor in Dr. Judy’s office. It was uncanny, really, the way her purple smock complimented the Thai curtains Rebecca had picked up on her recent trip to Bangkok, a detail Frankie culled from the therapist as she complimented her on their matching clogs. Rebecca was delighted to digress for a few minutes about the elephant sanctuary she’d visited, and Frankie insisted it was kismet, the two bonding over recipes for mee krob and homemade avocado masks.

Grace was initially jealous of their connection, when Frankie first started joining her appointments every so often. Rebecca insisted it wasn’t couple’s therapy, not exactly, that Frankie was simply welcome to take part in Grace’s narrative process, just like Brianna had. Frankie brought a different perspective that could help both of them as they ventured forth in their “mutual journey of becoming.” Becoming what? Grace asked at the time, and she could have sworn Rebecca and Frankie shared a knowing laugh, but she didn’t take offense to it.

If anything, having the two women who seemed to “get” her most, who knew her strengths and weaknesses and still never ran for the hills, was an incredible comfort, one Grace had never felt before. Being in therapy had become second nature at this point, the impulse to hide from her feelings, like she was taught to do growing up, dissipating from the moment she set foot in Dr. Judy’s office. Frankie’s presence only made her feel even more supported. So, Grace let go of the fact that her partner and her therapist seemed to share the same affinity for collecting mystical objects, and that together they could have donated enough peasant skirts to outfit an entire New Age village in Tibet.

“So you’re enjoying life as a grandmother, I take it?” Rebecca asked.

“Oh, it’s the bees knees,” Frankie crossed her legs, draping her arm over Grace’s lap as they squished together on the sofa. “We had our first sleepover the other night. The kids had concert tickets. I knew it would be fine, even though Grace was nervous because she’s still so little.”

“Babies always make me nervous,” Grace admitted. “Even my own did at first, but Genie’s a really good one. So sweet.”

“And everything else?” Rebecca looked back and forth between them. “Have you been keeping up with your homework?”

“I’d say so,” Frankie nodded, turning to Grace. “Wouldn’t you agree?”

“Definitely,” Grace breathed. “Especially since someone never lets me forget.”

“You enjoy it too,” Frankie grinned, gently shaking her arm. “At least it keeps me on my toes about the dishes, right?”

“That is true,” Grace smirked. “You have been much better about that lately.”

“Of course I have,” Frankie winked. “And you’ve been better about not moving my geodes without letting me know so I can recharge them afterwards.”

“Exactly,” Grace laughed as she rolled her eyes. “Just like every other household in America.”

“How about I check in with Grace for a few minutes before we wrap things up?” Rebecca suggested.

“Sounds good to me,” Frankie stood, straightening out her palazzos. “See you next month, Dr. Judy. A pleasure, as always.”

“Likewise, Frankie,” Rebecca told her. “Take care.”

Frankie moved to the door, but before she could exit, she turned back to Grace, mouthing very clearly “Tell her about the thing.” Grace waved her off, smiling nervously as Dr. Judy watched them, and Frankie disappeared.

“Uh oh. What was that?”

“Just her reminding me about something,” Grace exhaled. “We both do it. I started it, but now it’s ‘Maybe you should bring it up with Dr. Judy’ all the time. It works, sort of. It’s a great way to delay stressful conversations, if anything.”

“Well, don’t leave me hanging,” Rebecca insisted. “What’s up?”

“Nothing major,” Grace clarified. “It’s just…well, we’ve been talking about this YouTube channel for what feels like forever. At least a year, maybe longer. We even shot some practice vids, developed a few scripts, but we keep delaying for some reason. Frankie certainly seems less driven by it. I mean, not completely. The business is soaring. Our product expansion line is almost in full swing, but…I’m not sure either of us can communicate why we’re stalling on the media front.”

“If it doesn’t feel right, it’s okay to let go,” Rebecca soothed. “You’ve got so much else happening these days.”

“I think when I first proposed it, I was in a very different place,” Grace continued. “I was so frustrated with myself for not taking the plunge, for not coming out in that stupid Vice segment, I just wanted to make up for it somehow. But now, nearly everyone knows. Both our families, all our friends. Well…most of our friends. Maybe all I wanted was for Frankie to know I was willing to do anything, even if it meant going outside my comfort zone, when the truth is…I like having our private life separate from our public personas. I think she does too, even if she won’t admit it. I don’t want that to ever go away.”

“Then maybe you have your answer,” Rebecca smiled. “And it sounds like Frankie will be okay with whatever that is.”

Grace nodded slowly, her attention drifting into space. She mindlessly played with the zipper on her purse, getting lost as she looked down into her lap.

“What is it?”

“It’s just…all this talk about next steps,” Grace swallowed. “I keep thinking…about where she and I might be headed. As a couple.”

“You mean…marriage?”

“God no,” Grace shook her head immediately, anxiously rubbing her legs. “No, I…I’d feel crazy even thinking about that yet.”

“But you are thinking about it,” Rebecca smirked. “Why is that so crazy?”

“Because,” Grace sighed, shifting. “I feel like we haven’t been together long enough. I mean, Sol and Robert waited twenty years. Sure, there were plenty of painful reasons why they did, but…I don’t know. Everything just feels so much easier with us. I can’t fathom how hard it must have been for them. I don’t want to admit it, but in some ways, Frankie and I have had it way easier than they did, and that feels…like we haven’t earned the right to think about things like marriage yet. Like we haven’t been through enough.”

“You really believe that?” Dr. Judy looked at her, for once, like she was crazy. “You really think you haven’t been through enough?”

“Well, I…”

“Because from my perspective, Grace, you most certainly have. It’s all relative, and it’s your choice completely what you decide to do next, but don’t feel like you have to suffer for some indeterminate amount of time in order to earn your happiness. That’s not how life works, not how it should work. The narrative that we can only achieve everything we want after walking through the depths of hell to get there is a myth. There’s nothing wrong with ‘easy.’ Maybe it feels easy because it’s right? Have you considered that?”

“Yeah,” Grace laughed a little, smiling as she crossed her arms. “Every day in fact. I know it is.”

“See? And that says something. You’ve struggled enough for one lifetime. You’ve been through the fire. Now you get to bask in the afterglow, whatever you decide that might look like for you. And for Frankie.”

“Dr. Judy,” Grace teared up. “I don’t know how to tell you…how grateful I am. You’ve helped me, helped us, so much. I can never thank you enough.”

“That’s my job,” Rebecca told her. “You’re the one who’s done the work. You should be very proud.”

Grace nodded, letting that sink in, owning it fully.

She had come a long way. Now, it was time to decide just how much further she was willing to go.

Read the rest on A03.

Welcome. I am Podcast Trash.

Literally. Look at my URL.

In all seriousness, though, I am a huge fan of any and all narrative fiction podcasts, perhaps straying towards the creepier side and not so much towards the fantasy side. But, I decided I’d make a side-blog dedicated to just talking about said podcasts because a lot of them don’t seem to get a lot of love. So, the goal here is: talk to other people who are podcast trash and converting people to podcast trash. Please join me in this Hell. c:

If you are interested in/post the podcasts mentioned here you should like or reblog this post and I might follow you. And you can keep me in mind if you decide you want to chat about one of them.

Narrative Fiction Podcasts I Listen To/Follow:

Limetown
Welcome to Night Vale (a little behind mostly due to me not having read the book yet)
Tanis
The Black Tapes Podcast
Wolf 359
EOS 10
The Message
(side note: I have listened to Kakos Industries (partway), but it wasn’t my thing, so I probably won’t talk about it. Unless you give me a good reason to listen again.)

Narrative Fiction Podcasts I Plan To Listen To:

Sayers
The Elysium Project
Our Fair City
Hadron Gospel Hour (maybe??)
It’s About Time

Other Podcasts I Listen To:

Lore
The Mystery Show
Bizarre States
The Weekly Planet
Criminal
the memory palace

I think thats it!

I have an unsustainable hunger for any and all narrative fiction podcasts, so if you know some that you don’t see here pretty, pretty please let me know about them. I ned them.

Post 3x08 - On the subject of Iris's crush on Oliver...
  • Barry: Iris?
  • Iris: *distractedly writing article* Hmm?
  • Barry: Am I...hot?
  • Iris: *stops & looks up, stunned & confused for a few seconds* Are you hot? What does that mean?
  • Barry: *shrugs & walks towards her, collapsing on the opposite of the couch she's sitting on* I mean...if someone asked you how to describe me, would you say I was hot? How would you...describe my level of...attractive...ness?
  • Iris: *starts to grin & closes her laptop* Where is this coming from?
  • Barry: *stretches arm across the back of the couch but doesn't meet her eyes* I don't know... When we were just friends, sometimes you said I was cute. You've said I was handsome since we've been dating, but... You've never called me HOT.
  • Iris: *smiles adoringly at him when he finally meets her gaze* You know I find you attractive, Bear. *digs her toes into his pant leg*
  • Barry: No, I know that... It's just, when Oliver-
  • Iris: *laughs* Oh BEAR.
  • Barry: *blushes fiercely & can't look at her*
  • Iris: *crawls over to him, straddles him & kisses him*
  • Barry: *pulls away a moment to catch his breath* Iris-
  • Iris: *puts a finger over his lips so he stops talking* I find you very, VERY hot.

Hey let’s talk Strexcorp and their emphasis on productivity in a capitalist structure and how a person’s inherent value lies in their ability to work as can be paralleled with our own society’s treatment of disabled people because let me tell you this particular subject scares the absolute shit out of me.

8

APPLE PIE

gif version of my first electronic book. our first assignment was to remaster an old children’s book that’s out of copyright. i chose this alphabet book, “A Apple Pie and other Nursery Tales,” because it has this weird victorian english vibe and i thought it would be hilarious if i threw a horror slant into it. yes this was inspired by that one tumblr post… the one that goes “A is for Amy who fell down the stairs,” etc. i was definitely thinking about that as i made this. also the name game scene from AHS Asylum. and Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared.

basically this class taught me how to make multimedia publications for iPads. you can do it all in indesign and there’s shockingly little to no coding involved. indd is powerful. all animations were done in photoshop, so i’m basically applying old skills to a new format. it’s p cool i guess

happy halloween

i see a lot of posts going “what if [minority character] got a bunch of friends and did [something that brought their community into view in hogwarts]” e.g. “what if anthony goldstein pressured the headmaster into putting a chanukiah up in the great hall”

and don’t get me wrong!!! i love those posts a lot!!

but they sound exhausting

i already fight for representation as a jew, as a bisexual, as a trans person

i would like my escapist lit to come fully prepped with people like me pls and thank

where are the headcanons about how godric fled antisemetic persecution and forced conversion in the holy roman empire and founded his school partially on the idea that you should be brave enough to stick to your identity, even when you’re alone

where are the headcanons about how hermione came from a liberal jewish family and met anthony on the train and anthony is orthodox and their first conversation is an argument over whether men and women can pray together

(and how all jewish students are sent to the same synagogue in edinburgh on holy days which means an orthodox synagogue and hermione about has a conniption)

where are the headcanons about how each dorm has three wings to begin with and how each is barred to members of the other genders

where are the headcanons about the very racy stories about dumbledore and grindlewald that aren’t ever openly talked about but everyone knows right you know they were–

where are the headcanons about healing charms that can alter the shape of your body

where are the headcanons about mcgonagall having to visit a muggleborn student’s home because their letter said “mary” but their parents insist they only have one child, “oliver”, and mcgonagall just being stunned that the parents are more upset over their child being trans than being a witch

where are the headcanons about first and second generation children with their spells from different cultures and their different approaches to magic and their different political memories

where are the headcanons about how the entire jewish wizarding population, pureblood or no, openly defied voldemort, because never forget

where are the headcanons that integrate minorities into the narrative from the beginning?